Super sport car black and redMany of us dream of what it would be like to drive one of the fastest cars in the world.

For instance the Bugatti Vevron Super Sport can reach speeds of 268 mph and go from 0 to 60 in 2.4 seconds. The base price might be $2,400,000 but who cares about price when you have all that speed.

On the other hand, humans are demanding creatures and we expect fast speeds for very little money when it comes to our internet bandwidth. Realizing we can’t compare internet pricing or the speed to the Bugatti Super Sport since we rely on computers to be productive and we want it fast. We’re not even going to compare the entertainment factor of the two!

So what is internet speed? You would think that like a car, the number given (5 Mbps, for example), has everything to do with how fast your internet works. However, internet speed is not measured in miles per hour (mph) like with that race car. Instead, internet speed is your (allocated) bandwidth. Bandwidth is how quickly you can upload or download data and this usually measured in seconds. For example, 5 Mbps would mean that you can receive up to 5 megabits of data per second. To understand all of this you also have to take into account bandwidth.

So what is bandwidth and how does it work? Imagine a one lane dirt road versus a freeway in Los Angeles. Which one do you think your Bugatti will travel faster on? Bandwidth is like your race car on those roads. The wider the “road” or in this case bandwidth, the faster the race car or “data” will travel. To get more data from the internet to your computer at a faster rate the road needs to be wider.

More bandwidth means that you’ll be able to receive more data at the same time. In other words, your data is transferred to you at a faster rate because more data can be sent at the same time. Your computer is more efficient, your internet is not “faster”. Not all bandwidth needs are created equal. Your business objectives define your connectivity requirements.

Is Your Bandwidth reliable, are you experiencing delays? If your bandwidth is sufficient, reliable and properly configured then you should not have a problem with large transfers. If your bandwidth or “road” is all being used then you will have a slower response back and the performance of your application will be affected. Your IT support team should be able to help you adjust your settings assuming this is not a throttling issue. Throttling: the intentional attempt by ISPs to regulate network traffic and minimize congestion.

If excessive network delays are causing the application to spend a large amount of time waiting for responses from a distant data center, then the bandwidth may not be fully utilized, and performance will suffer. Step one would be to evaluate your internet service and needs then follow up with the appropriate adjustments.

Another factor affecting the bandwidth experience of your Internet connection is the number of background uploads and downloads that is taking place on your computer. Problems can be attributed to software that automatically updates, such as anti-virus programs or operating system updates.

Bandwidth problems can also result from unnecessary traffic on the network. Reducing and removing unnecessary demands and traffic can give better control over bandwidth usage and ensure adequate bandwidth is available for your critical applications.